April 2004 Report
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April 30, 2004 - UPDATE

Now is the time us fly fisherman have been waiting for!!!

The Tully is fishing really well. Flows have come down to a nice level and the caddis have been active. Look for this action to continue and only increase, as water temps have been on the cold side.

For the readers out there who fish waters that have the march brown hatch - check out this pattern. Now is the time to start throwing the subsurface imitation. Next time you are on the stream take a look at the rocks…even if you do not see any march browns; you at least have a good indicator as to what is going on. Learn those bugs!

Penns Creek is on tap for this weekend. Chances are there will be some Hendrickson spinners still undulating about. When we fish over this hatch we like to throw a parachute pattern. In the waning light this type of pattern tends to aid in silhouette. And don't forget that headlamp!

This is also prime time for Valley Creek. Dry and a dropper is an effective rig for this stream.

Unfortunately as of late the Lehigh has been untouchable. High flows and erratic releases are making for some really tough conditions. Right now on the Upper Delaware River System they are addressing extremely similar management issues which plague the Lehigh as well. One of which is rapid fluctuation in releases. Step-down/up releases would be much more effective and less harmful to the river ecosystem. To learn more about the Lehigh River - send us an email. Also, take a look at the Lehigh River Stocking Association - LRSA.

Red Brown Spinner - #12. Antorn/dun hackle.

Recent flows on the Lehigh River.

April 26, 2004 - Penns Creek Update

A group of us hit up Penns over the weekend. During the day it seemed the fish really hunkered down and did not move. Pretty much seeking shelter down underneath a rock. Some fish were able to be fooled though, on an assortment of nymphs, and buggers. Hard-wading, some serious angler determination and a well-executed presentation seemed more important than the fly on the end of your line when it came to nymphing.


However, at certain times there were enough bugs on the water to bring up some fish. Hatching insects noticed were grannoms, olives (vagans) and hendricksons. Red-brown spinners were also around in good numbers. Continue to look for all of these over the next week or so, but they might begin to wane. The grannoms actually seemed to be more into the egg laying stage, but with this coolish weather, the hatching may linger on and be quite good. Then again we may have some higher flows coming our way. Really there are too many variables involved to even begin to predict what might happen at a given time. Bottom line is if you are hitting Penns, have all these patterns in your box and the nymphs to go with them. And around the corner we have the march browns and the grey fox. Some trout have already started to take to these patterns. Our Patterns Page has a really effective march brown nymph.

Every fish that was caught and released was just beautiful. Many fish were in the 10"-13" range with every inch being hit (some 4+ times) from there on up to an unofficial 19"+.




Grannom caddis

Water flows were in the average cfs for this time of yeat at - 550-700. Water temps ranged from 51-56 degrees and it had that typical limestone green tint.

This action bodes well for our Penns Weekend coming up this weekend.

14" Penns Creek brown

Female hendrickson

Male hendrickson spinner

April 21, 2004 - Update

The hendricksons (Ephemerella subvaria) have started to hatch on the Lehigh. We even saw a few quill gordons (Epeorus pleuralis). Your basic adams is an effective pattern for either of these guys, but with the higher flows over the past week or so the fish have had a hard time looking up. When they are though they have been keying on the numerous tan caddis bouncing about. Little black stones are also coming off in decent numbers. Best bet is to go underneath, buggers and clousers.

Keep an eye out for Penns Creek updates in the coming weeks. Flows are at fantastic levels and the grannoms are just around the corner. From there it only gets better. Check out our reports from last year.

April 17, 2004 - Update

This guy has the right idea for opening day weekend. Could not ask for better weather, therefore the bugs should be coming off in big numbers. Water levels are perfect, and coming down off of the high flows over the last few days. We hopefully should be seeing the start of the crane flies and caddis on Valley - which is usually timed with the blooming of yellow buttercups that carpet the bottomlands. The Army Corp has also let up on the release coming out of FEW dam. Prime time for the Lehigh is just around the corner. Check out 'LRSA-Dedicated to the Restoration of the Lehigh River,'' for info on all the big things happening with the Lehigh River

Penns Creek by next week ought to be flowing at prefect nymphing levels. It will take on that limestone, blue-green look, and if the sun is out - which it looks like it will be, you better fish underneath. Grannoms are just around the corner. Then we start the progression of mayflies.

We've got a full house for the 5.1-2.04 Penns trip, but we've got some openings for the 5.23-24.04 FFPA/TCO Spring/Penns trip (here is last year's report) and the 6.12-13.04 Penns Weekend. For the 6.12-13 trip - the BWOs should be coming off in full force. Check'em out!!!

The shad and the salt will also get a nice kick-in-the-butt from this heat. And the Weakies just a couple of weeks away. Deer Creek guys are just now getting into the hickory shad. If you have never tried this - you gotta!!! Micky finns or a red over yellow marabou streamer will the trick. Also, as taught to me by the "local angler," go with those four foot lengths of sinking tip. Then rig that on your four weight. As with most migratories, focus on those nasty weather days. Shoot us an email to book a trip or if you need any information.

Proposed Regulation Change - Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only (DHALO):

Some of you may be aware of a proposed regulation change the Pennsylvania Fish Commission is currently seeking public input on. In our mind this proposed change is a complete failure on their part to manage our trout waters as effectively as possible.

Let me put it this way - if you are one of the many fly fisherman who enjoys fishing the trico hatch on the Tully, then this could be a potentially fatal blow. The regulation being proposed would allow bait fishing during the delayed-harvest time (June 15-Labor Day) on all DHALO waters throughout the state. This would without a doubt serverely decrease fish populations on many of the waters we cherish and look forward to fishing during the heat of the summer and into the fall due to the management policy that is currently in place. These are streams which have had a lot of work performed on them by local Trout Unlimited chapters, all of which could be taken away in one summer. These are waters that have been set aside to protect the fishery from the assured over-harvesting that comes with bait fishing. Trout waters of this state, under the current DHALO regulation, that can support wild trout, holdovers and streambred trout do not deserve this type of management policy. We ask any and all anglers to please submit a note to the PFBC explicitly stating your disapproval of this regulation change.

Please email your opposition to the Pennsylvania Fish Commission: ra-pfbcregs@state.pa.us

April 14, 2004 - Update

Better get those hooks sharpened on those buggers….It looks like Opening Day is gonna have some high water. Check out our Patterns Page for our go to bugger pattern. Just like last year, the brown bugger has been producing for us. Click here to keep an eye on your favorite open water. Most waters have come up significantly. They have even started releasing water on the Lehigh. Hopefully things settle down for the weekend.

And for all those streams that get heavily stocked, this rain is great for spreading out the fish. Hit the pocket-water, and all the little basketball size holes.

Here is a prime example of pocket-water.

April 11, 2004 - Lehigh River

We noticed even more little black stones on Saturday. During the heat of the day is when they became most active. At times they were pretty thick, with some skittering about on the water and even more being tossed around by the wind. A few more degrees in water temp is what we need to get the fish looking up. And now we have some needed rain moving in....gonna have to wait and see what it brings condition wise for our streams and rivers.

We also noticed the local PF&BC WCOs making their rounds. It was nice to see them out and about, protecting our waterways.



April 9, 2004 - Lehigh River

First float of the year on the Lehigh.

Water temp was 50 and emerald green in color instead of the usual Lehigh tannic. CFS in Lehighton was about 900, which is below-average for this time of year.All action was sub-surface - buggers, and nymph droppers were the most effective. We hit up the banks and seams. And being able to get your fly down quick was key. The fish definitely were a little lethargic. All told between two boats, about 15 fish were moved, 5 of which came to net. Best fish of the day is the bow to the right. It smacked a bugger.

Bugs noticed - quill gordons, little black stones, olives, blue quills, midges and even a few caddis.

Look for the fishing to only get better.

Early-season April Grey.

Lehigh River brown.

A healthy looking 17"+ bow.

Catch and release.

Is it time to go yet?

Feature on the Lehigh River

April 6, 2004 - Update

Even with the 1,400cfs flow on Penns this past weekend; the blue wing olives were hatching. This hatch signals the beginning of the spring hatches on this limestoner. As the water recedes and warms look for more insect life to begin stirring - ultimately leading up to the grannoms. But don't look for these guys anytime soon. We still have a few weeks to go yet. Certainly one nice thing about the high flows is the water clarity. Unlike some years, Penns is flowing that nice, limestone-green...so with no deluges in the forecast look for the slow-drop to continue as the feeders continue their run-off.

Penns Creek looking up toward the lower-end of the Catch and Release Section This photo was taken with the water at roughly 1,400cfs.
This coming up holiday weekend have us slated to be on the Lehigh River. This will kick-off our float season on this big tail water. Interestingly enough the flows on the Lehigh are extremely tame for this time of year, but still very cold. Temperature reading just below the Francis E. Walter Reservoir is only in the low to mid-40s. The combo of the coldwater release, mountain feeders and the shaded Lehigh River Gorge means it takes a very long time for this river to warm up. Most likely slow and deep wooly buggers and sucker spawn will be the ticket. But you never know. Which is what makes fly fishing great!!

Be sure to checkout the updated Featured Stream section. We've added the Tulpehocken and Valley Creek. Two very important and unique fisheries located here in SE PA.

If you have any questions or would like to book a trip - send us an email.